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With Brandon Weeden Hurt, Browns Have Nothing to Lose in Starting Brian Hoyer

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COMMENTARY | I admittedly do not know a lot about Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer.

I know that his NFL stat sheet isn't all that impressive. The former Michigan State QB has, in the past four years, completed 57 of 96 pass attempts (59.4 percent) for 616 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Those numbers, coupled with Hoyer's performances in summer training camps and in the preseason, landed him third in the Cleveland depth chart beneath starter Brandon Weeden and backup Jason Campbell.

Weeden, who has taken a beating in the team's first two regular season games of 2013, is nursing a sprained thumb that he suffered in Cleveland's Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The severity of the injury is not known, but the hot rumor circulating is that Weeden will miss this coming Sunday's game at the Minnesota Vikings. Cleveland radio personality Mike Trivisonno, citing a "very good source," said on Monday that Weeden's thumb is "really screwed up" and that the second-year QB could be out for "possibly the season."

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Regardless of anybody's opinions on how well/how poorly Weeden has played for the Browns over the past year, the reality of the situation is that it does neither the 29-year old nor Cleveland any good to start a QB who could struggle gripping the football. The offense of the Browns has found the end zone only once in two games. Playing a quarterback who isn't 100 percent makes little sense for a team that is well on its way to another losing season.

That brings the Browns to a Campbell vs. Hoyer conversation. Cleveland's coaching staff already knows what to expect from Campbell. He is a serviceable backup quarterback who, while slower than when in his prime, can roll out of the pocket and evade oncoming pass rushers. That's a good trait for any Cleveland QB to have considering that the team's offensive line has been nothing short of awful this month.

With that said, Campbell was, by all accounts, given an opportunity to earn the starting gig during the summer months. A coaching staff that did not draft Weeden gave him and not Campbell the job. That says something about a QB who has to realize that his better days are behind him.

Hoyer, on the other hand, is an unknown commodity. The belief is that Hoyer does not have the arm strength possessed by either Weeden or Campbell. He is, however, able to improvise on the field, and his ability to read defenses could be better than that of Cleveland's current starter. It's also not a secret that Hoyer has a fan in Browns general manager Mike Lombardi.

I am confident in saying that the Browns are not a championship team today, and also that Campbell is not a QB for the future. That makes Hoyer the obvious "why not?" option. The worst case scenario for Cleveland starting Hoyer against Minnesota is that he, like Weeden before him, plays poorly and the Browns lose again. That would leave the franchise in the same position it is in right now; with a losing record and a bad offense.

Head coach Rob Chudzinski should give a shot to the unproven guy. He has nothing but games to lose, and Cleveland is going to lose plenty of those between now and the end of December.

For more: Weeden a scapegoat, Browns want Johnny Football?

Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010

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